San Francisco

Print-Sculpture Annual

The Richmond Art Center

The sculpture in this show is by far more impressive than the print-making, which seems to be heading in a direction given impetus by Llyn Foulkes in his Oakland exhibition last February: multiple images, a concern with the look of the photo both positive and negative, and undertones of the turn of the century.

Print award winner, Robert Bechtle, in his lithograph Smilin’ Through reverses the rainbow and the expression of the empty woman triple image who looks as if her morning cup of coffee didn’t really serve to take the grey out. A divided image and an interest in a photo-negative look is apparent in Gerald Gooch’s Gooch. David Scrafford’s untitled lithograph combines an heraldic cross and small photo images. Charles Gill, another award winner, divides his litho in half and proves a house is not a home. John Ihle in his Western Series patterns mythographic pictographs in a sepia print with good decorative possibilities. Jeryl Parker’s four colored dots on graph paper is a hard-edge classic. Both Victor Harlow and June Felter are outside of the main stream of the exhibition, he with a colored primitive-pop woodcut entitled Toad Love and she with a loosely drawn etching of a Woman Resting.

Don Potts, the only artist in the show who has both a print and a sculpture on exhibition, uses the same theme in both—a turtle carapace black mask shield image which might crawl from paper or wall at any moment. The sculpture is a large shaped canvas cozened into smooth positive and negative shapes, covered with thick black wax and hung with various suitable objects. Jean Linder stuffs and stitches canvas pieces into giant unborn larvae and paints the whole nastiness with sour colors. Stephen Kaltenbach is also interested in organic insectoid forms, but his sculpture Bad Dude, is more permanently conceived in glazed clay, wood and metal. Mel Henderson, who loves female objects and usually uses them as projective images, here faces black and red leather purses, stretches them to the breaking point with blow-in styrofoam which oozes through the stitchery, a successful found object simplification of the kind of smooth organic shape both Kenneth Price and Robert Arneson make. Barbara Spring gives her Large White Sliced wooden loaf of doughy preservative-added bread an almost mathematical precision in the slicing, but Stephen de Staebler’s clay desiccated Baked Alaska is no foodstuff The ubiquitous Manuel Neri is here also with his painted plaster figure, and a newcomer, Ros-Golsev has an expressive welded pipe piece Adonis. Possibly the most evocative piece in the show is Aaron Mosely’s monstrous shaped, stitched and glued children.

M. Martin